This Action aims at the creation of a novel and autonomous field of research and intervention on play for children with disabilities. The network has three main objectives:
a) collecting and systematizing all existing competence and skills: educational researches, clinical initiatives, know-how of resources centres and users’ associations
b) developing new knowledge related to settings, tools and methodologies associated with the play of children with disabilities
c) disseminating the best practices emerging from the joint effort of researchers, practitioners and users.
Play for children with disabilities is the object of a fragmented set of studies and it has given rise, in different countries and at different times, to niche projects (i.e. social robotics for children with autism spectrum disorders, adapted toys for children with cognitive and motor disabilities, accessible playground areas). This theme is not yet a recognized area of research because of two main factors (a) disability represents a set of heterogeneous functioning frames (b) play is not leading the educational and rehabilitation contexts. The multi-disciplinary cooperation of researchers and practitioners in the fields of psycho-pedagogical sciences, health and rehabilitation sciences, humanities, assistive technologies and robotics as well as the contribution of end-users’ organizations will grant the right to play even for children with disabilities, and finally establish play as the main element for children’s development. LUDI will devote specific attention to the societal challenges identified in Horizon 2020 (i.e. the transfer of knowledge to clinical practice, the enhancement of the functionalities of children with disabilities through the implementation of technologies and practices).
The main objective of the Action is to spread awareness on the importance of giving children with disabilities the opportunity to play, while ensuring equity in their exercise of the right to play and by putting play at the centre of the multidisciplinary research and intervention regarding children with disabilities.
More info can be found in the Action Memorandum of Understanding and at the official COST site for the action. COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) is a pan-European intergovernmental framework. Its mission is to enable break-through scientific and technological developments leading to new concepts and products and thereby contribute to strengthening Europe’s research and innovation capacities. www.cost.eu.